Tokyo: Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who on Saturday scripted history after winning gold in the men’s javelin throw at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics, dedicated his medal to legendary Milkha Singh.
The 23-year-old Chopra, who hails from Khandra village near Panipat in Haryana threw a best attempt of 87.58m in the finals to end India’s 100-year wait for a track and field medal in the Olympics.
Neeraj also became only the second individual Indian athlete after Abhinav Bindra to win an Olympic medal. Bindra had won the gold in shooting in the 2008 London Olympics.
With his feat, Chopra also fulfilled legendary Milkha Singh’s dream to win a gold medal in track and field at the Olympics.
“I dedicate this medal to Milkha Singh. Hopefully, he’ll be watching this from the heavens,” Chopra said after his gold medal.
Milka Singh, one of India’s greatest-ever athletes, who passed away due to Covid-19 complications in June this year, often spoken about how he wished to see an Indian athlete bringing back the Olympic medal that he dropped at the 1960 Olympics.
Neeraj also mentioned that he was not thinking about gold medals and he wanted to do something special in the final of the javelin event.
“I didn’t think about the gold medal. I wanted to do something special today. I wanted to break the Olympic record and overdid it because of that,” he said.
Neeraj’s gold took India’s medal count at Tokyo 2020 to seven – making it their best-ever haul at a single Olympics.
India had won 6 medals at the London Olympics 2012.